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  1. #1
    CC International Master Tony Dowden's Avatar
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    Players smoking during games (sf NZ Chess Festival Oct 2018)

    I'd definitely be interested in playing in the Festival but not unless smoking is banned during games. A generation ago it was socially acceptable to smoke near others but now tobacco smoke is now well-known to contain multiple carcinogens and is deadly to both the smoker and others who are unfortunate enough to breath second-hand smoke. In my view a person who smokes during a FIDE-rated game is highly likely to be disturbing their opponent, therefore any complaint along these lines should be treated seriously.
    Last edited by Tony Dowden; 26-01-2018 at 10:12 AM.
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  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    Tony, Smoking has been banned in Tournament halls for many years. I suspect you are talking about something else, In which case you should spit it out rather than beating around the bush.

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Dowden View Post
    I'd definitely be interested in playing in the Festival but not unless smoking is banned during games. A generation ago it was socially acceptable to smoke near others but now tobacco smoke is now well-known to contain multiple carcinogens and is deadly to both the smoker and others who are unfortunate enough to breath second-hand smoke. In my view a person who smokes during a FIDE-rated game is highly likely to be disturbing their opponent, therefore any complaint along these lines should be treated seriously.
    I totally agree, Tony. I also don't want to go back to those unhealthy and unpleasant smoke-filled tournament halls of a generation ago.
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  4. #4
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    All public venues ban smoking in the premises as a matter of NZ law. Many ban it anywhere on the property as well, but either way, the designated smokers area is going to be outside somewhere.
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  5. #5
    CC International Master Tony Dowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Dowden View Post
    I'd definitely be interested in playing in the Festival but not unless smoking is banned during games. A generation ago it was socially acceptable to smoke near others but now tobacco smoke is now well-known to contain multiple carcinogens and is deadly to both the smoker and others who are unfortunate enough to breath second-hand smoke. In my view a person who smokes during a FIDE-rated game is highly likely to be disturbing their opponent, therefore any complaint along these lines should be treated seriously.
    What is difficult to understand about my post of Jan 26, above? (Directed to slyall in particular - no I am not talking about 'something else'). With defence to the highlighted, the issue for me is whether my opponent smokes during the game - not where my opponent smokes.
    Last edited by Tony Dowden; 06-02-2018 at 10:01 PM.
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  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Dowden View Post
    What is difficult to understand about my post of Jan 26, above? (Directed to slyall in particular - no I am not talking about 'something else'). With defence to the highlighted, the issue for me is whether my opponent smokes during the game - not where my opponent smokes.
    I tend to wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Dowden.

    Smokers don' t seem to realise that even when they don't smoke in the proximity of their boards i.e. and do so in designated smoking areas
    when they return to resume play they bring with them the tobacco stench which is not alleviated by means of chewing gums or inhaling mint sprays etc.

    The stench is an indispensable part of their breath.

    For chronic smokers the stale tobacco odour on their clothes is also very annoying and distracting.

    On a positive note, I have noticed that the amount of smokers in chess events has been drastically reduced in recent years.

    Back to chess in New Zealand, shall I give up hope that Queenstown has not been excluded as a chess tournament venue in the future?
    Last edited by ER; 07-02-2018 at 07:10 AM.
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  7. #7
    CC International Master Tony Dowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ER View Post
    I tend to wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Dowden.

    Smokers don' t seem to realise that even when they don't smoke in the proximity of their boards i.e. and do so in designated smoking areas
    when they return to resume play they bring with them the tobacco stench which is not alleviated by means of chewing gums or inhaling mint sprays etc.

    The stench is an indispensable part of their breath.

    For chronic smokers the stale tobacco odour on their clothes is also very annoying and distracting.

    On a positive note, I have noticed that the amount of smokers in chess events has been drastically reduced in recent years.

    Back to chess in New Zealand, shall I give up hope that Queenstown has not been excluded as a chess tournament venue in the future?
    Thanks for your support Elliott but note that you somehow overlooked the most salient point: the tobacco smoke emanating from smokers, which is especially unpleasant when one's opponent is a smoker and decides to smoke when it's your move!

    [Hi Mods: It wasn't really my intention to hijack this thread, so perhaps this discussion about smoking - and the possible implication that at some point it might break rules if players are deemed to be wilfully distracting or upsetting opponents - could go to, say, a rules forum? Cheers, Tony]
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  8. #8
    CC International Master Tony Dowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Dowden View Post
    ... Hi Mods: It wasn't really my intention to hijack this thread, so perhaps this discussion about smoking - and the possible implication that at some point it might break rules if players are deemed to be wilfully distracting or upsetting opponents - could go to, say, a rules forum? Cheers, Tony]
    Hi again Mods, Thanks for moving the thread!

    I'll be interested to hear what anyone else thinks about players smoking during games.
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  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Dowden View Post
    I'll be interested to hear what anyone else thinks about players smoking during games.
    The relevant laws on this:

    11.5 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. [..]

    11.6 Infraction of any part of Articles 11.1 – 11.5 shall lead to penalties in accordance with Article 12.9.

    Note that this rule is breached whether the distraction/annoyance is intentional or not, though it is a more serious breach when intentional.

    Of course, "in any manner whatsoever" doesn't actually mean quite what it says. It is not forbidden to distract the opponent by repeatedly playing good moves, by playing fast and putting them into time trouble, by legally moving after one's opponent has moved but before they have pressed the clock, by playing the Grob in a world championship game, by being extremely young for one's rating, by being unusually ugly or attractive (excluding deliberate flaunting of the latter) and so on.

    Also there are other Laws that might be considered relevant:

    11.2.1

    The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, rest rooms, toilets, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter.

    11.3.4

    Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is permitted only in the section of the venue designated by the arbiter.

    I do not think these rules would exist if those drafting the Laws took the view that all smoking during a game was a distraction and annoyance to other players.
    Unfortunately those involved in the drafting often come from countries where smoking is still permitted at social venues.

    While the Laws clearly cater for players being able to smoke during games (where allowed) I think the smoker must have some level of obligation to minimise any disturbance and annoyance to their opponent - for instance trying not to breathe out strongly in their opponent's direction.

    I think this is a genuine issue though I've rarely been even mildly annoyed by it myself. But I don't think there are good prospects of FIDE completely banning smoking within games.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 16-02-2018 at 11:21 PM.

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    I think there is a genuine clash here in Australia between what the Fide laws of chess permit and what the laws of Australia actually are.

    In quite a lot of States and ACT, you are not permitted to smoke within 5 metres of a building entrance. And the playing area can be well within the venue.

    I am aware of have slightly swapped playing area and venue here, but this is because the fide laws of chess imply that the arbiters are sectioning off an area for smokers, whereas here in Australia, the most likely area is somewhere out on the street, far away from the strict playing area where the boards are.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    I think there is a genuine clash here in Australia between what the Fide laws of chess permit and what the laws of Australia actually are.

    In quite a lot of States and ACT, you are not permitted to smoke within 5 metres of a building entrance. And the playing area can be well within the venue.

    I am aware of have slightly swapped playing area and venue here, but this is because the fide laws of chess imply that the arbiters are sectioning off an area for smokers, whereas here in Australia, the most likely area is somewhere out on the street, far away from the strict playing area where the boards are.
    Same in New Zealand - with the increased focus on cheating over the years, I'm surprised it's still allowed in tournaments.
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  12. #12
    CC Candidate Master TomekP's Avatar
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    Can the area for smokers be designated, e.g., 20 miles from the playing room?

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    I think there is a genuine clash here in Australia between what the Fide laws of chess permit and what the laws of Australia actually are.
    There is nothing in the Laws to prevent an arbiter designating a smoking area that is well outside the building containing the playing venue, and designating the access to that area to be part of the playing venue. It does create issues with keeping an eye on players to make sure they're not cheating though.

    Also under the FIDE Competition Rules, the laws of a country take precedence over FIDE rules, so the arbiter needs to try to find a solution that is legal under the laws of their own country. I am not sure if there is any law or any FIDE rule that would prevent the organisers from saying smoking is banned in their tournament full stop.

  14. #14
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    Smell of tobacco is a problem indeed (agree with ER on this one) but it is no bigger problem than chess players not taking shower for days - then coming to chess club.
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  15. #15
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    I don't mind opponents going out for a smoke. It can't be helping their game, both with the interruption and the loss of time.

    The point about cheating is a good one, but in practice the smoking area is usually in public view. Maybe in important events where there's an opportunity to receive messages it could be an issue.

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